Visiting the Queen of Denmark

Amalienborg Palace is one of several architectural and cultural masterpieces in Copenhagen.  The palace is still the residence of Denmark’s Royal Family. A statue of King Frederik V dating from 1771 stands in the forecourt. The palace is made up of four identical buildings. These are Christian VII’s Palace or Moltke’s Palace, a guest residence, Frederik VIII’s Palace or Brockdorff’s Palace, home of the Crown Prince family, Christian IX’s Palace or Schack’s Palace, home of Queen Margreth and Prince Consort and Christian VIII’s Palace or Levetzau’ Palace, used as guest palace for Prince Joachim and Princess Benedikte.

CPH1_-187One of the highlights of a visit to Amalienborg Palace is the pageantry of the changing of the guard. Every day Den Kongelige Livgarde take to the streets and march from their barracks by Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg. At precisely 12 noon the changing of the guard takes place. Unlike the changing of the guards in England, there are no fences separating the guards from the public.

CPH1_-188CPH1_-189Although you can’t drop in on to visit the Queen, you can visit one of the buildings where 4 kings of the House of Glucksborg who ruled from 1863 through 1972 resided. Among the rooms you can see are the study and drawing room of Christian IX and Queen Louise.  Queen Louise was the great-great-grandmother of today’s Queen Margreth and through marriage allowed Prince Christian IX to ascend the throne.  Queen Louise made sure that all six of her children married well and Queen Louise and King Christian IX became known as Europe’s Parents-In-Law.  Four of their children sat in the thrones of Denmark, Greece, England, and Russia.

The study of Frederik VIII is an approximation of the way it looked. After the King’s death in 1912, his belongings were given away to family and friends. The heavy wooden furniture and faux leather walls make it a very masculine space.

CPH1_-190The private salon of Queen Louise is full of Victorian treasures and personal souvenirs. CPH1_-191Christian IX’s study is decorated with framed photos of family. During Christian IX’s time, photographs were a new sensation and expensive. They were a status symbol and also showed how seriously Christian IX took his fame as Europe’s Father-In-Law.CPH1_-192


Amalienborg Palace

Categories: Castles, Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An In -“Spire”-ing Skyline

In “The City of Spires”. the oldest building in Central Copenhagen is Saint Peter’s Church. Sankt Petri Kirke is in Copenhagen’s Latin Quarter. Built in mid-15th Century, originally was one of four Catholic Churches, today the congregation is made up of German speaking Lutheran-Evangelicals.CPH1_-42St. Petri’s Kirke is where you can find the remains of one Johan Friedrich Struensee. When he arrived in Copenhagen at age 31 he was King Christian 7’s doctor. He considered himself an atheist and man of the Enlightenment and never set foot in the church while he was alive.
After his affair with Queen Caroline Mathilde was discovered, he was sentenced to death by beheading on April 28th 1772. The body was dismembered and the parts taken to Gallows Hill. In 1885, some human bones were dug up at the site, which then belonged to Vestre Kirkegård (the cemetery). The human remains that were found belonged to several people, some showed evidence of being hacked with an axe. Thought to belong to Struensee, they have resided in a child’s coffin in the crypt under the church.
CPH1_-44From the Observation Deck at the Round Tower (Runtaarn) you can see the many spires of Copenhagen. The former St. Nikolaj Kirke (St. Nicholas Church) in the foreground is now a contemporary art museum.CPH1_-58St Nicholas Church was built close to the shore, and was the church of fishermen, sailors and visiting traders. The church was named after the patron saint of sailors.CPH1_-88 The Old Stock Exchange (Borsen) has the most interesting spire in the city. The tails of four dragons are intertwined to create the spire. The legend is that the dragon tailed spire guards the building against enemy attacks and fires. The Old Stock Exchange been spared from damage on many occasions, even when fires have broken out in neighboring buildings. CPH1_-87The Danish Chamber of Commerce now resides in the building.The three crowns that top the spire represent the Scandinavian empire – Denmark, Sweden and Finland.CPH1_-90Sitting in the Christianhaven section of the city, the Church of Our Savior has a spire with an external staircase for climbing to the top. The Church is visited by more people than any other in Copenhagen.CPH1_-212The 400 steps to the top wrap around the spire 4 times. Like many fortresses the steps wind to the right. The soldiers can defend the city by holding onto the railing with there left (less dominant) hand while brandishing their swords with their right.CPH1_-213A statue of Our Savior stands on top of a globe at the top watching over the city.CPH1_-218A quick train ride to the north is where you will find the spires of Kronborg Castle, also known as Hamlet’s Castle.CPH1_-141


St. Peter’s Church

St. Nicholas Art Museum

The Borsen (Stock Exchange)

Kronborg Castle

Church of Our Savior


Categories: Castles, Church, Church of Our Saviour, Copenhagen, Dragons, Europe, Hamlet, Kronborg Castle, Photography, St Peter's Church, St. Nicholas Church, St. Nikolaj Kunsthall, St. Petri Kirke, Travel, Vor frelsers Kirke | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Anarchy reigns…

Freetown Christiania is on the outskirts of Copenhagen. In the 1971, some homeless people were squatting in old military base. When they broke down a fence to use an abandoned playground for their kids, Christiania was born.CPH1_-204Colorful murals line the outer walls and every street corner in this quirky artistic community. There is theatre, live music and many other types of artistic expression within these walls. CPH1_-205The people of Christiania forbid, guns, violence, hard drugs and cars. Fireworks, biker’s colors and bullet proof vests are also discouraged. CPH1_-206In researching my visit to Christiania, there were quite a few websites cautioning against taking photographs in the neighborhood. Before 2017, an area known as Pusher Street was the site of many Marijuana dealers. Although marijuana is illegal in Copenhagen, the  dealers were afraid that photographers would turn them in to the police for illegal activities. An incident in 2016 in which a police officer was injured by a gun shot caused the community to shut down Pusher Street. CPH1_-207Christiania is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues and  organic restaurants. The town exists as a society within a society, you cannot buy a house in Christiania. You have to apply for it and if you are successful it is given to you. CPH1_-208

This colorful town is a great place to get lost for an afternoon.

CPH1_-209CPH1_-210Remember, there be dragons here!



13 Things to know about Christiania


Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Free Christiania, Grafitti, Photography, street art, Travel | 1 Comment

Watch out for that hole…

Why are Manhole Covers round? There are several answers to this age old question.

  • A round manhole cover cannot fall through its opening.
  • Round tubes are stronger so the cover of a round tube is a circular shape.
  • A round manhole cover has a smaller surface than a square one and requires less material to make one.
  • When replacing the cover over the open hole, a round cover does not need to be rotated to align and fit.
  • A round manhole cover is easier to move by being rolled.

Whatever the reason, while walking around Copenhagen, take a moment to look down under your feet. There is some pretty cool art to be discovered.


CPH1_-83Seen in Helsingor, home of Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle

CPH1_-113This one tells the story of the Steadfast Tin Soldier. The empty spot had a depiction of the one legged soldier. In the story he is about to be eaten by a fish after falling off of his shelf. Hans Christian Andersen




Inside Tivoli Gardens, the manhole covers show the entry gates and the popular balloon ride.

Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Tivoli Gardens, Travel | Leave a comment

Rundetaarn: The Round Tower

The Round Tower dates back to the 17th century and is the oldest observatory in Europe. Although the scientists have left long ago, the tower serves as a lookout for amateur astronomers and visitors.

CPH1_-47CPH1_-49The Gateway to the tower features the monograms of several Danish monarchs. CPH1_-50Danish Astronomer Tycho Brahe inspired the building of the Round Tower some decades after his death in 1601.  An interesting fact about this man is that Brahe lost part of his nose in a duel with a fellow nobleman. He received a prosthetic nose said to be of gold or silver held onto his face with paste. In 2010, his body was exhumed and the nose was found to be made of brass.CPH1_-51Although it was never used as the church’s tower, the chapel of the Trinity Church is part of the Round Tower complex.


Rather than climb flights of stairs to the observation deck, a 7.5-turn spiral ramp is the the only access way to the observatory as well as the Library Hall and the Bell-Ringer’s Loft, both located above the church. You walk 7.5 times around the core of the tower before reaching the observation deck and observatory at the top. This allowed a horse and carriage to reach the library making it easy to move books in and out as well as transporting heavy and sensitive instruments to the observatory. Tzar Peter the Great rode to the observation deck on horseback with his wife Catherine in tow in her carriage behind. In later days both bicycles and motor vehicles have made the ascent.CPH1_-55CPH1_-53CPH1_-56

Thick wooden beams characterize the Bell Ringer’s Loft.


The letters RFP in the ornate ironwork railings are from King Christian IV’s motto: “Regna Firmat Pietas” or “Piety Strengthens the Realm.”


From the observation deck you get a 360 degree view of the city. On a clear day you can see for miles in all directions. The city is sprinkled with the spires of many churches.





Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Travel | Leave a comment

Nighttime Magic in Tivoli Gardens

     If you happen to be at Tivoli Gardens at night be sure to catch their laser, water, light show called Illuminations. The version that I saw was a celebration of Summer.CPH1_-263CPH1_-262CPH1_-261CPH1_-260

CPH1_-257     Tivoli’s Carousel features both tall and small animals so that you can choose your vantage point.CPH1_-35     A wall of Elephants as you exit the park. CPH1_-32The Trolley cars have been an institution at the gardens since 1969. Hop on one to get a tour of the gardens.

Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Tivoli Gardens, Travel | Leave a comment

Tivoli’s Lilliputian Military



As a master of public relations, Carstensen was always looking for new ways to engage the public. The Tivoli Honory Guard or the Tivoli Boys Guard was created in 1844. The guard grew into a cultural icon in Copenhagen and provided a comprehensive musical education for children. Boys and girls participate in the Youth Guard today.


Tivoli Gardens Youth Guard

Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Photography, Tivoli Gardens, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

”Then one day, when you least expect it, the great adventure finds you.” – Ewan McGregor

I have to admit that I have had some amazing opportunities because of my job. This past few months I have had the most wonderful travel adventure. 10 weeks, 12 countries, 2 oceans, 3 ships and thousands of photos. If you have the chance to travel to Northern Europe I recommend flying Scandinavian Air (SAS). The cabin crew was great, the food was better than I had ever had in the air and FRESH BAKED BREAD! You heard it right, FRESH BAKED BREAD. During both meal services, they pass around hot rolls. There must be a tiny bakery in the back of the plane somewhere. There were a couple of stewards in chef’s coats passing out the meals. Not expected but appreciated.

The only downside of my flight from Newark to Copenhagen was my seat neighbors. I try to book a seat the furthest away from anyone else, this flight happened to be full and my seat was 2 rows from the back of the plane. A young mother and child began hovering around my row while an austere Dane paced the cabin pointing out certain seats. When he finally took his seat next to me, with his wife on the opposite end of the row, the stewardess approached me. She said there was an empty seat further forward in the cabin and would I mind moving. I immediately said yes and then she informed me that the seat was not an aisle as I had been sitting in. I said that’s okay, what’s an 8 hour flight sandwiched in between complete strangers. As she helped me with my carry-on she thanked me and told me that I saved them a lot of trouble from the couple next to me.

As we prepared for landing, she asked me if I was travelling onward or staying in Copenhagen. I said I would be in Copenhagen for a few days and she hurried away as we got ready to land. Once we were on the ground she came back holding a trash bag full of something and handed it to me. Thanking me again, she had assembled a goody bag of wine and beer. That couple must have been real pains in the ass, and who am I to turn down free booze.

This was my third trip to Europe having previously visited Amsterdam, Hamberg, Bremerhaven, London and Cadiz. This time I started out in Copenhagen and then returned for a week’s vacation after work was done.

The first day of any trip, I make a point of getting the lay of the land.  Research, Google Maps, Travel Books, Rick Steves are all part of the planning process. In my opinion, the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus has been a great way to get an overview of the city and plan where I want to visit more in depth during my stay.CPH1_-3     Copenhagen is an incredibly walkable city and has great public transportation. Since buying a car becomes with an 180% tax, most residents walk, ride the bus or bike. My hotel – The Richmond was centrally located right near the train station and Tivoli Gardens. CPH1_-255

CPH1_-214      The weather in June was great, unlike the 90+ temps back home, Copenhagen was very comfortable and cool. The days were long and by long I mean sunrise at 4am and sunset at 11:30pm. I found that most people spoke English very well and everyone was friendly and helpful.

After 8 days in Copenhagen, there was still so much to still see. A return trip is definitely in order.



Richmond Hotel

Scandinavian Air

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Visit Copenhagen

Categories: Copenhagen, Europe, Nyhavn, Photography, Tivoli Gardens, Travel | 2 Comments

Yo Ho, Yo Ho – A Pirate’s Life For Me

Boom (1 of 1)

June 14th – 16th, the seaside city of Cocoa Beach was invaded by pirates. The annual Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest attracts pirates and fans from around the world.

Raquel and her little cannon

Raquel and her little cannon

Demonstrations included period firearms and cannons

A Pirate named Brave

A Pirate named Brave

A pirate encampment allowed guests to see how pirates may have lived off their ships.

Steadfast Steel

Steadfast Steel

The group Steadfast Steel gave demonstrations of swordplay and combat.

Steadfast (1 of 1)-2

Pearl (1 of 1)

The lovely but deadly, Pearl

Pearl (1 of 1)-3

Undead Pirate

Undead Pirate

Categories: Photography, Photography, Pirates, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicago – That Toddlin’ Town

Foyer TouristChicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town… The city of Chicago has some really unique architectural history. The Cultural Center located near the Loop and Millennium Park. when it was completed in 1897 it served as the city’s central library.

Tourist DomeThe center of the Grand Army of The Republic Memorial hall is a massive Tiffany dome. This massive installation is the world’s largest Tiffany dome and went through a major restoration in 2007.

Library OwlChicago’s Harold Washington Library replaced the Central Library (now the Cultural Center) in 1987. The roof is adorned with 7 Acroteria or archiectural ornaments. On the corners and center can be found large sculptures of Owls, the symbol of the goddess of knowledge, Minerva. This Great Horned Owl sits over the center of the State Street entrance on Printer’s Row.

Peacock JewelersAnother bird hanging around the loop is the majestic peacock. The Jeweler’s CD Peacock store at State St. and Monroe. The House of Peacock was the first retail jewelry store in Chicago and catered to such big names as Mary Todd Lincoln, Marshall Fields and Mick Jagger. Hotel Sconce

Carson Pirie 2One of the coolest facades in Chicago has to be the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building. Built after the great Chicago fire, the Sullivan Center as it is known today, was built as a major retail center. Today, the building hosts a Target on the bottom floors, but the ornamentation is still intact. The ornate floral details are bronze cast iron and were meant to appeal to the female clientele.

Carson Pirie

FaceMetropolitan Capital Bank on the Magnificent Mile features details from the Prairie School of the Arts and Crafts movement, Frank Lloyd Wright once had a studio at Chicago’s Tree Studios artist’s enclave.

Whacker DriveAt one time, the Jeweler’s Building at 35 Whacker Drive was considered the tallest building in the US outside of New York City. Movie fans may recognize the building from Batman Begins and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Water WorksThe Chicago Water Tower was one of the few buildings to survive the great fire. It’s tower was built to house a massive pump that would pump water directly form Lake Michigan. Built from Joliet limestone, it stands 154′ tall, Oscar Wilde said it looked like “a castellated monstrosity with pepper boxes stuck all over it.

Gargoyles TribuneThe Chicago Tribune Building completed in 1925 is adorned with gargoyles and grotesques designed by American sculptor Rene Paul Chambellan.

Categories: Photography, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at